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Nurses describe Seattle Children’s Hospital as a ‘combat zone’ after dozens of alleged attacks

Dozens of Seattle nurses at Seattle Children’s Hospital are demanding change after a number of nurses allegedly suffered injuries from patients due to a lack of support and resources from management.

Leaders with the Washington State Nurses Association shared a press release about the alleged incidents.

They described Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit as a “combat zone.”

In a span of two weeks, Seattle police told KIRO 7 that they were called to the hospital’s unit twice.On November 7, police said a 14-year-old boy was arrested for assaulting a medical staff member, destroying property, and armed himself with a metal pole in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit of the hospital.

One staff member suffered minor injuries.

Staff told police the teenage boy had convinced another patient to steal an access badge from hospital staff, which allowed them to access prohibited areas of the building, police said.

One staff member was put in a headlock, police added.

Another incident happened on November 17 where three to four children in the behavioral unit reportedly tore off ceiling tiles and threw them at staff members, Seattle police told KIRO 7.

Officers were called to the scene around 7:40 p.m.

“I’m exhausted from constantly reacting to dangerous behaviors and trying to prevent serious harm,” a nurse on the unit, Henry Jones, said in the press release. “In our current state, I feel like I’m functioning more like a bouncer or a prison guard.”

KIRO 7 spoke with a couple of nurses within the unit to better understand the situation.

“When I come in and instead of being excited to talk with the kids, I’m scared. I’m scared not only for myself, but the people I’m leading,” said a charge nurse within the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit, Tasha Vederoff.

Vederoff stressed that the children are not the issue.

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